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Senate majority also calls for stop to drug killings

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BATTLE OF RESOLUTIONS

Senate majority also calls for stop to drug killings

Now it’s a battle of resolutions.

After seven of senators got bashed on social media for not signing a resolution urging the government to stop the killing of drug suspects, especially  children, the majority in the Senate has produced its  own resolution that its most battered member, Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, called the “real sense of the Senate” on the issue.

Senate Resolution No. 518 was written by Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, who along with Sotto and five other majority bloc senators, said they were “left out” in the first resolution that was spearheaded by the minority.

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‘We’re not heartless’

The other five senators who missed out on the original resolution are Aquilino Pimentel III, Gregorio Honasan, Richard Gordon, Manny Pacquiao and Cynthia Villar.

Zubiri said SR 518 was really a majority bloc resolution.

“The minority has been advocating a stop [to] extrajudicial killings and we want to show that the majority share their sentiments and we are not heartless,” Zubiri said in a phone interview.

The majority resolution “condemn[s] in the strongest sense the [extrajudicial killings] and call[s] on the government to exert and exhaust all efforts to stop and resolve these extrajudicial and all other unresolved killings.”

Zubiri, Sotto and the five other majority block senators protested the “prostitution” of Senate Resolution No. 516 that “urged the government to undertake the necessary steps to stop the spate of killings, especially our children, and directing the appropriate committee to conduct an inquiry … to determine the institutional reasons, if any, that give rise to such killings.”

They protested after they were bashed on the blog #SilentNoMorePH for not signing the minority-inspired resolution, which was also signed by 10 majority senators.

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The blog described the seven senators in derogatory terms that Sotto threatened to bring cyberlibel charges against the bloggers.

The seven senators claimed the minority did not ask them to sign the resolution.

To be adopted on Monday

Sotto said the majority resolution was the “real sense of the Senate” and would be adopted by the chamber on Monday.

He said the majority bloc resolution was also not out to sow intrigue against colleagues, unlike the minority’s resolution.

In a phone interview, Sotto said the majority already knew who were behind the blog, as the National Bureau of Investigation had been able to trace them.

“They will be invited to the hearing on Oct.4,” he said, referring to the first hearing to be called by Sen. Grace Poe, whose committee on public information and mass media had been tasked to look into the complaints raised by Sotto and the other majority bloc senators against the blog.

Pacquiao, in a phone interview on Thursday, said he and his colleagues who were not asked to sign the other resolution felt bad because the minority did not reach out to them.

He said the minority bloc  saw his colleagues every day in the Senate and yet even Sen. Leila de Lima, who is detained in police headquarters in Camp Crame, was able to sign the minority resolution.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, speaking in a news forum in the Senate on Thursday, said he believed he had the most bashers on social media among the senators but he would not cry about it.

He said Pimentel, the Senate President, should have suspended the session on Wednesday after the seven majority bloc senators complained about the blog and called a caucus that would have enabled them to thresh out their differences and then “come out [as a group] against fake news.”

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TAGS: drug killings, Philippine news updates, Senate, war on drugs
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